- Associated Press - Sunday, October 30, 2016

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) - Santa Fe councilmembers have unanimously approved setting up a Native American arts district, believed to be the first of its kind in the U.S.

The ordinance calls for businesses selling authentic Native American merchandise to get a special business license and follow guidelines for signage, reported the Albuquerque Journal (https://bit.ly/2eiU94Z).

Notices at registers would let shoppers know that they can request certificates of authenticity.

The district will encompass downtown Santa Fe and Canyon Road, which is lined with several galleries and shops.

Mayor Javier Gonzales says the ordinance is “the first of its kind to protect authenticity through a disclosure process.”

He said it will ensure the city’s reputation as a source for genuine, high-quality Native American artwork and jewelry.

Businesses operating contrary to the ordinance could lose licenses. Gonzales has said the U.S. Attorney’s Office may also be informed of any establishments suspected of falsely advertising Native products.

Some officials expressed concern with enforcement.

Councilor Chris Rivera said vacation rentals keep the land use department busy as it is.

“I think we’re piling more onto them tonight,” he said.

Councilor Joseph Maestas said it appears that the arts district would rely heavily on the honor system.

He said he plans to introduce legislation to build on the ordinance’s foundation.

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Information from: Albuquerque Journal, https://www.abqjournal.com

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